Levonorgestrel-Releasing Intrauterine System Dosage

Your specific dose of the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system will vary based on the particular product being used. Your healthcare provider will place the device in the uterus, where it can remain in place for three to five years to prevent pregnancy. However, you can have the device removed at any time.

An Introduction to Your Dosage of Levonorgestrel-Releasing Intrauterine System

The dose of levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (Mirena®, Skyla™) your healthcare provider recommends may vary, depending on the particular product you use. As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.

Dosing for the Levonorgestrel-Releasing Intrauterine System

Your healthcare provider will place one levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system into your uterus, where it can stay in place to provide birth control for three to five years. The actual amount of time the device can remain in your uterus depends on the product you are using.
Each Mirena device contains a total of 52 mg of levonorgestrel (a progesterone hormone). It can stay in the uterus for up to five years. At first, the device releases about 20 mcg of hormone per day, which decreases to approximately half that amount after five years.
Each Skyla device contains 13.5 mg of levonorgestrel. It can stay in the uterus for up to three years. At first, the device releases about 14 mcg of hormone per day, which decreases to about 5 mcg per day after three years
Your healthcare provider will most likely recommend a physical exam before you begin using levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system. He or she may also want to do tests to make sure you're not pregnant and to make sure you don't have a genital infection.
The device should be inserted within seven days after the start of your period to help ensure that you are not pregnant. It can be inserted immediately after a first-trimester abortion or miscarriage, but should not be inserted immediately after birth or following a second-trimester abortion or miscarriage. In these cases, your healthcare provider will wait until your uterus has returned to its normal size, which normally takes six weeks or longer.
When it is time to insert the device, your healthcare provider will first examine your pelvis to determine the size, shape, and position of your uterus. After cleansing your cervix and vagina with an antiseptic solution, the device will be inserted using a slim, plastic tube specially designed for the particular intrauterine device (IUD) you will be using.
The plastic inserter tube holding the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system will be inserted into your vagina, through your cervix (the opening from the vagina to the uterus), and into your uterus. The plastic tube is then removed, leaving the device in your uterus. Your healthcare provider will cut the device threads to the right length. These threads are used to remove the device after three to five years.
Although you won't be able to feel the device in your body, you will be able to touch the threads by feeling near your cervix with your fingers. The threads will not extend outside of your body. You should check the threads each month to make sure the device is still in place. Your healthcare provider can explain more about how to feel for the device each month.
Do not pull on the threads, as doing so may misplace the device. If displaced, it may not work properly to prevent pregnancy.
Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system can be removed at any time, but must be removed after three to five years (depending on the particular product you use). Ideally, the device should be removed sometime during your menstrual period. If you want to continue using the IUD, your healthcare provider will remove the old device and insert a new one.

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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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